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Clinton Threatens Veto of Anti-Environment Bills

by Reuters
Environmental News Network, September 22, 2000

President Clinton on Thursday renewed a successful tactic of past budget battles vowing to veto any spending bills with tacked-on provisions, or "riders," he regards as environmentally harmful.

"Once again, too many of these bills are being watered down with riders aimed at weakening public health protections, blocking common-sense efforts to combat climate change, and surrendering public lands to private interests," Clinton said at a White House Rose garden event.

"I vetoed bills before because they contained them, and if I have to I'll do it again," Clinton said.

He said Congress has offered several such riders since Wednesday. The White House said measures it objected to would weaken protections for drinking water, lead to over-cutting of trees in national forests and block steps to conserve energy and fight global warming.

The veto threat, which he has used in the past to protect many environmental measures from Republican attacks, is especially potent this election year as Congress members struggle to complete work on spending legislation and return home to campaign.

"I ask Congress to drop them (the riders) so we can get on with the people's business, and they can go back home and talk to voters," Clinton said.

He spoke at an event designed to rally support for a measure to permanently earmark $1.4 billion in revenues from offshore oil leases to be used for land conservation.

The measure passed the House and is awaiting action in the Senate.

Corps Barging in on Salmon Recovery, say Conservationists
Environmental News Network, September 22, 2000

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